Jacksonville, FL - Gainesville Raceway celebrates its 50 th anniversary in 2019. Like another famous Florida landmark, Cape Canaveral, Gainesville Raceway is a portal to other realms. 
Don Garlits designed and perfected the rear-engine dragster. He is seen here racing against rival Don Prudhomme at the Gatornationals.
Gainesville Raceway is the launching pad of record speeds and of drag racing’s “holy grail”, the first 300 mph quarter-mile run.

NHRA (National Hot Rod Assn.) Drag Racing at top levels is part motorsport and part rocket science. Top Fuel dragsters are the fastest accelerating manned vehicles on Earth and generate more speed quicker than any other machine piloted by humans. They create greater G-forces starting (and stopping) than carrier-launched aircraft or even a rocket lift-off from the Kennedy Space Center. NHRA’s top fuel classes generate more power than a locomotive and shake the earth with measurable seismic tremors.

“Top Fuel Dragsters are the most powerful race cars on the planet. They accelerate from zero-to-100 mph in less than a second,” said Don Robertson, former Gainesville Raceway track manager who is now an organizer of The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance’s Cars & Coffee at the Concours. “It’s a horizontal space shot with forces beyond the comprehension of most people. Dragsters have the most extreme and exotic physics in motorsport.”
Top fuel dragsters leave the starting line at Gainesville Raceway
In March 1992 Kenny Bernstein drove his Budweiser King Top Fuel dragster through a speed barrier at Gainesville Raceway some thought unreachable.

But the pros knew better. All the NHRA’s marquee names were obsessed with being the first to break the 300 mph barrier. “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, Kenny Bernstein, Tony Schumacher and Eddie Hill all understood the time was near.

Bernstein’s crew chief Dale Armstrong went so far as asking Kenny how much he weighed. When Bernstein replied “160”, Armstrong told him to lose ten pounds for a better chance to breach 300 mph barrier first!

Funny cars line up at the start of the quarter mile at Gainesville Raceway
Florida is atmospherically generous to drag racers. Gainesville Raceway is just 137.8 feet above sea level and its oxygen content makes that rich air an especially valuable ingredient for the NHRA fuel classes.

It happened in second-round qualifying when Bernstein pulled the trigger on over 7,000 horsepower in his Budweiser King Top Fueler. In just 4.82 seconds and 1320 feet history was made and Gainesville Raceway’s grandstands erupted.

“That day the 300 mph barrier was broken,” said Robertson. “Right here in Gainesville.”
Today it takes hundreds of acres of parking to accommodate the record crowds that gather for Gatornationals
It was drag racing’s version of the first moon landing. It was also a media bonanza for the NHRA, Bernstein and his sponsors. Plus it was yet another Gainesville Raceway speed record further burnishing the Florida track’s reputation as a “records factory”.

"The first 260 and 270 mph runs also came at Gainesville Raceway,” said Robertson. “Speed is the soul of motorsport; more reasons that Gainesville Raceway is sacred ground to drag racers.

“In just a week you can attend The Amelia and, the next day, drive to Ocala, visit the Don Garlits Museum and then go to the NHRA GatorNationals at Gainesville Raceway,” said Robertson. “That’s true sensory overload and the perfect ‘car guy’ holiday . . . all without leaving north Florida.”
Limited Space Available for The Amelia Road Tour of Italy and the Côte d’Azur in 2019

Only 3 spaces remaining. Reserve your spot today.
The Amelia is proud to partner with VeloceTours for an exclusive European road tour unlike any other. Hosts Bill and Jane Warner will lead a 9-day/8-night tour from Saturday, May 25th to June 2nd 2019, beginning and ending in Milan, Italy.

This premium tour includes chauffeured pick-up and drop-off from Milan Malpensa Airport. Guests will enjoy eight nights in 5-star deluxe hotels. All breakfasts, group lunches, group dinners with unlimited fine wines, premium beers and spirits are included. Car rental is also included.

Your package also covers Italian highway tolls, emergency medical coverage and sales tax (VAT) on all goods and services. Six months from the event’s conclusion, The Amelia will send you a custom coffee-table book that chronicles this unforgettable adventure with hundreds of photos taken by a professional automotive photographer.

$9,390 per person. A portion of the cost goes directly to the Amelia Concours Foundation.

Only three spaces remaining, reserve your place today.

The rate does not include airfare to and from Europe, gasoline/diesel, French tolls (Italian highway tolls are included), hotel room incidentals and extra hotel services. Emergency medical coverage in Europe is free but for additional personal coverage travel insurance is needed.

For more information email or call Brian Webber, Executive Director of The Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance.

The Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance
3016 Mercury Road S
Jacksonville, FL 32207
Tel: 904-636-0027
Orange Blossom Tour: A Driving Tour of Old Florida
Join the owners of  Classic Motorsports  magazine as they proudly show off Florida’s finest back roads and destinations–those hidden gems known only to longtime residents.
We’re talking about charming towns like Jekyll Island, Micanopy and Mount Dora. This classic sports car tour combines these great locations with explorations of historic sites and inside looks at private automotive collections–and connects them all via twisty back roads.

Built around the famed Amelia Island Concours weekend, this hub tour gets you back to Amelia Island just in time to enjoy America’s premier concours. We even offer a special VIP ticket package if you're planning on attending the big show.
Classic sports cars, great roads, fun people, blue skies and the intoxicating aroma of orange blossoms in the air. Ah, springtime in Florida…

Worried about the details? Don't: That's where the Classic Motorsports staff comes in. From start to finish, they will transport your luggage, accommodate any special requests, and even take your selfies if you'd prefer. You'll also have the undivided attention of our team of expert mechanics, just in case your car has any mechanical issues or needs a tow. Backing them up is a fleet of new sports cars, which you're welcome to drive if your car can't be quickly fixed.
Learn more and register today at
Tickets for the 24th Annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance are available online.

Mercedes- Benz Cocktail Reception and Gala Dinner  /  Purchase Tickets
6:30 pm - 10:00 pm The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Talbot Ballroom $375.00

Honoring Jacky Ickx 
Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island 
Cocktail Reception 6:30 PM - Pre-function area of the Talbot Ballroom 
Mercedes-Benz Gala Dinner - Talbot Ballroom, 7:15 PM 

Advance Reservations. Very limited seating. Black Tie Optional 

For more info and to purchase tickets visit,
About The Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance
THE AMELIA will be held March 7-10, 2019 at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island and The Golf Club of Amelia Island. For the Amelia’s full events schedule, including Saturday’s Cars & Coffee at the Concours and Sunday’s premier Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, visit . The show’s Foundation has donated over $3.45 million to Community Hospice & Palliative Care and other charities on Florida’s First Coast since its inception in 1996.

The Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance| 904-636-0027 | E-mail | Website